Did you ever imagine that we’d have access to thousands of series episodes, movies and local shows at the touch of a button by the year 2020? The future is here, and it’s highly entertaining. Here are all the series, movies, kids’ shows and local titles coming to Showmax this month. We start with our highlights and follow up with a listing by date.
Summer of Rockets S1 | First on Showmax | 1 Jan
Created by Emmy and BAFTA nominee Stephen Poliakoff (Perfect Strangers), this semi-autobiographical drama-thriller is set in Britain in the ‘50s, during the Cold War, where a Russian Jewish inventor of hearing aids is approached by MI5 to undertake a secret mission.
The mini-series stars Toby Stephens (Black Sails); BAFTA nominees Keely Hawes (The Durrells), Timothy Spall (Harry Potter) and Linus Roache (Vikings, Homeland); Gary Beadle (Patrick Melrose); BAFTA winner Mark Bonnar (Unforgotten); Oscar nominee Peter Firth (Victoria); and South African actress Suanne Braun.
The Times praised Summer of Rockets for its “sumptuous cast”, “cracking dialogue” and “gorgeous” visuals.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%
Genius S2: Picasso | 1 Jan
Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory, Mask of Zorro, Desperado) was nominated for a 2019 Golden Globe for Best Actor as the legendary artist, while Alex Rich (Glow) received a 2019 Critic’s Choice Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as the young Picasso. Also look out for Clémence Poésy from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The series is exec produced by, amongst others, Oscar-winning duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, who gave us A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon.
Plum Pick cred: Nominated for 2 Golden Globes – Best Actor for Geoffrey Rush (2018) as Einstein (S1) and Antonio Banderas as Picasso (2019); Won two Emmys and nominated for a further 15.
IMDB rating: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 83%
Vida S1-2 | First on Showmax | 2 Jan
Vida focuses on two Mexican-American sisters in Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighbourhood, where they are confronted by the past and the discovery that their deceased mother was in a lesbian marriage.
Plum Pick cred: Audience Award winner, SXSW, 2018; Over 6m YouTube views for its trailers
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 100%
Room 104 S3 | First on Showmax | 2 Jan
Created by Jay and Mark Duplass (Animals, Togetherness), anthology series Room 104 returns with 12 new episodes, telling unique and unexpected tales of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel.
The room stays the same but every episode features a different story, with the tone, plot, characters, and time period changing with each installment. There’s even a documentary episode this season.
Season 3’s cast includes Oscar nominee June Squibb (Nebraska), Luke Wilson (The Goldfinch, Zombieland: Double Tap), Sam Richardson (Veep), Aasif Mandvi (Blue Bloods), Francois Chau (Lost, The Expanse), Tony Plana (Ugly Betty), Oscar-winning VFX artist Tom Woodruff Jr. (Death Becomes Her), and People’s Choice nominee Cobie Smulders (Avengers, How I Met Your Mother).
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%
Ray Donovan S7 | First on Showmax | 20 Jan
Ray Donovan is a fixer, tasked to clean up the messes made by others – some legit, some definitely not. The only mess he can’t seem to deal with once and for all is his own personal life. In the seventh season, RAy is still living in New York, seemingly determined to be the person his family needs him to be, even turning to a shrink for help. Meanwhile, his brothers are cleaning up their acts too and Bridget, Ray’s daughter, faces the reality of married life.
Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ray’s menacing father, Mickey, while Liev Schrieber has been nominated multiple times and highly praised for playing Ray.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 77%
Aquaman (2018) | 6 Jan
Jason Momoa stars as half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry in this visually stunning adventure film. When he discovers that a war is brewing beneath the sea, he goes on a life-changing quest to reclaim his rightful place as king of Atlantis. Aquaman can also be seen in Justice League.
Die Stropers (The Harvesters) (2018) | First on Showmax | 2 Jan
A young man (Brent Vermeulen) competes for his mother’s love when she (Juliana Venter) welcomes hardened street orphan Pieter (Alex van Dyk) into their home in South Africa. Die Stropers also stars Morné Visser, Erica Wessels and the late Danny Keogh.
Plum Pick cred: Screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%
The River S3 | Express from 1Magic | 27 Jan
The story of the Dikana and the Mokoena clans continues. They are two families from very different backgrounds brought together by the dirty business of diamond mining. This telenovela is famous for its twists and turns, and this season, coming to Showmax express from 1Magic will definitely be no different.
Lockdown S5 | First on Showmax | 30 Jan
Notorious for its cliffhangers, plot twists and emotional rollercoasters, Lockdown takes viewers into the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility.
As Season 5 picks up, Deborah is under pressure from The Department of Correctional Services, after one death too many at the prison. Arch-rivals Mazet and Tyson are still running the prison yard together, for now. And Monde is trying to make things right with Vicky (Lauren Jenae), while worrying about her sister Katlego (Natasha Thahane), who’s been transferred to Kgotsong Asylum.
SAFTA winners Linda Sebezo and Nomsa Buthelezi are also back as fan favourites Maki and Slenda, while the multi-award-winning Patricia Boyer returns as the hilarious but dangerous Sue.
Every season of Lockdown introduces a new star. This time it’s Sophie Lichaba, aka Sophie Ndaba, who became a household name in South Africa during her two-decade-long starring role as feisty receptionist Queen Moroka in the SABC1 soapie Generations.
Plum Pick cred: The most awarded drama at this year’s SAFTAs, taking home five awards, including Best Drama
Big Cats | 1 Jan
Executive produced by Michael Gunton (Emmy and BAFTA winner for Planet Earth II) and narrated by Doctor Foster actor Bertie Carvel, this acclaimed three-part BBC mini-series follows cat species from around the world, including the smallest feline in the world (the rusty spotted cat of Sri Lanka), the rarest cat on the planet (the Iberian lynx) and ‘the deadliest cat on Earth’ (the tiny African black-footed cat).
Plum Pick cred: Winner of the 2018 Jackson Wild Conservation Award
IMDB rating: 8.5/10
Earth From Space | 1 Jan
Narrated by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), this four-part mini-series reveals earth as you’ve never seen it before. Cameras in space tell stories of life on our planet from a brand new perspective, revealing new discoveries, incredible colours and patterns, and just how fast our world is changing.
The Guardian says, “This breakthrough show captures every corner of the globe in unprecedented detail, giving our planet a health check – and its findings are spectacular.”
IMDB rating: 8.2/10
Expedition with Steve Backshall | 1 Jan
BAFTA-winning English naturalist, writer and presenter Steve Backshall travels the world in search of adventures from river rafting in the Himalayas to trekking through the jungles of South America to climbing mountains in the Middle East.
Radio Times called it, “A tremendous adventure … (Backshall is) great at explaining things in an engaging, straightforward way and he’s clearly as brave as heck.”
IMDB rating: 8.2/10
Every week Showmax live-streams a selection of matches in the Sport section (go to showmax.com/sports).
In December, expect more brilliant international football with weekly live matches from the English Premier League, LaLiga and Italian Serie A. Plus, watch key matches from the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, as well as enthralling fight nights from EFC.
Stream these series while you wait
What else is on?
Look out for our Plum Picks in bold!
- Broken S1
- Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild
The Orville S1
Prison Break S1 – 4 & 2017 new season
Tyrant S1 – S3
Animals With Cameras
Attenborough and The Sea Dragon
Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes
Queen Elizabeth: Legacy to the Natural World
Secrets of Area 51
- Nashville S5
Mars S1 & S2
- Howards End S1
Little Women S1
Stargate Origins S1
Stargate Universe S1 – S2
- The Heart Guy S3-4
Code Black S1-3
Bridge to Terabithia
City of Ember
Marshal the Miracle Dog
Tyd met Aleit S5
A Royal Winter
The Kwaito Movement
African Legacy Project
Go Nyelela Ga Puo – Death of a Language
The Letter Reader
Sara se Geheim S3
*Please note all shows and dates are subject to change.